There are times in our lives when everything gets out of hand. We said yes, when we would’ve been better to say no. We forget to treat ourselves as a precious object.

 

We keep pushing ourselves. Attempting to silence that voice of concern. “It’s only 3 weeks until my holiday. I can cope until then.” “It’s only going to be this busy until I have 5 big clients.” “It’s only until…”

 

I’d been rushing, with little time to myself, for 3 weeks while performing with my salsa team in Los Angeles. I was also sleep deprived; having never caught up on the sleep I missed on the plane from New Zealand to LA. Anyone who knows me, know this combination is a recipe for disaster!

 

When I reached Mexico, the first stop on my solo adventure through Latin America, I’d planned to start learning Spanish right away and start exploring the area.

 

It didn’t happen.

 

I slept in. I had naps. I read 3 books that week. I did what I wanted in each moment.

 

It took me a couple of days to quiet that voice in my head that said I was being lazy. That I need to get organised. That I needed to DO something.

 

That voice isn’t really my voice – it’s an echo of other people who have been in my life. Those voices were completely ignoring that there was no rush to do anything. It would all still be there tomorrow. There was no rush.

 

All of us, who want to start a business, or grow an existing business, will put ourselves under pressure at some point. Sometimes it’s necessary to push a little harder to meet a deadline or get a project finished.

 

But

 

It’s not as necessary as we’d like to think. I know this from personal experience of working long hours as a corporate lawyer. Work to 3am? Sure. Come back in at 7am? Sure.

 

I wasn’t helping myself because I was giving everything the Rolls Royce treatment when the Mini Cooper treatment would’ve been just as effective. I was my own worst enemy when it came to working longer and longer hours.

 

Have you done this? Convinced yourself that you need to give 200% to every job when 80% was all that was needed?

 

I forgot to treat myself as a precious object.

 

I put everything and everyone else before me and my needs. As you can imagine I was neither the happiest person nor the most fun to be around.

 

It wasn’t until I began to put myself first that I could operate at my best. You may feel selfish putting yourself first but, and it’s a big BUT, who taught us that? Who taught us that by taking care of our own needs we are somehow not a good person or that we are ignoring others.

 

I think it’s time that we all start putting ourselves first, because it’s only when we are operating at our best that we can truly be of service to others.

 

What one thing will you start or stop TODAY to take better care of yourself?

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